San Jose, Calif. –– Energous Corp. is teaming up with Haier to embed its WattUp technology, which can charge portable devices wirelessly through the air, into Haier major appliances.
Energous describes WattUp as “a disruptive wire-free charging technology for electronic devices that provides power at a distance with complete mobility under full software control.”
The patent- and trademark-pending solution delivers intelligent, scalable power via the same radio bands as a Wi-Fi router. The result is a wire-free experience that saves users from having to remember to plug in their devices or place them on a mat; rather the device begins charging as soon as the user enters the room.
The joint development agreement with Haier Wireless, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Haier Group, will allow Energous to embed WattUp transmitter technology into refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, stoves and more.
“WattUp is a natural fit for a wide range of smart home products,” said William Xu, CMO of Haier Wireless. “As Haier Wireless continues to cultivate the wireless power industrial ecosystem in the connected home market, true wire-free charging is a value-add we feel we must aggressively pursue. In our vision, WattUp-embedded Haier Wireless appliances would serve as transmitters for any WattUp-enabled device that is within range.”
“Expanding into the Smart Home is a central piece of Energous’ roadmap, and WattUp transmitter deployments into Haier Wireless’ everyday products gives us a broad-reaching channel to do so,” said Steve Rizzone, CEO of Energous. “This relationship will enable us to create an always-on charging environment in high-traffic areas in homes, offices, retail and commercial spaces.”
“Furthermore, our agreement with Haier Wireless brings Energous full-circle in establishing a complete wire-free charging ecosystem,” Rizzone continued. “We now have 10 JDAs [joint development agreements] that will see WattUp transmitter and receiver technology embedded in devices such as smartphones, Wi-Fi routers and now a wide range of household appliances. With significant cash and other resources committed from Energous and our global technology partners, we can achieve our vision of a world in which consumers no longer have to worry about plugging in devices or placing them on a mat. With WattUp transmitters in the spaces where consumers spend the majority of their time, collective behaviors around charging devices will be forever changed.”
At press time, Haier America, the manufacturer’s North American division, was unsure when or if the wireless power-charging technology would be integrated into majaps for the U.S. market.